If you are an international student who has completed his/her OPT (Optional Practical Training), and are willing to work more in the US, the H1B visa might come to your rescue! An H1B visa is a temporary work visa for non-immigrants willing to work in the US pertaining to employment in specialty occupations.
Though a highly selective process, every year the US admits around 80,000 foreign nationals on the H1B visa. If you are someone looking to start your H1B visa process, you are definitely at the right place! Keep reading as we unravel all about the H1B visa validity, requirements, cost, cap, and a lot more!
Table of Contents
What is H1B Visa?
The H1B visa or Person in Speciality Occupation visa is a work permit usually given to non-immigrants who wish to start their employment in the US, in speciality occupations- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The H1B visa validity is usually 3 years, and is extendable only once upto 3 years.
There are different types of H1B visa one can apply for:
- H1B Speciality Occupations
- H1B2 DOD Research and Development Project Worker
- H1B3 Fashion Model
Also, having an H1B visa allows applicants to work and live in the US with their dependents.
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What are H1B Specialty Occupations?
Occupations falling under these fields are considered as H1B Speciality Occupations:
Law, Accountancy, Architecture, Arts, Mathematics, Medicine, Health, Engineering, Computers, International business management, Education, Journalism, Research, Modelling, Sciences, Nursing, Social sciences, Theology
H1B Visa Cap and Lottery System
According to the regular H1B visa cap, only 65,000 visas are allowed to be issued under the H1B category. Students graduating from US universities/ colleges are usually exempted from the H1B visa cap. Also, around 70% Indian nationals are found to have the H1B category visa.
In addition to the H1B visa cap, around 20,000 more visas are issued every year, based on a lottery system. This system reserves H1B visas for applicants having advanced degrees, or applicants visiting the US for NGOs, and research purposes.
The total cap for H1B visa can therefore be summed up to 85,000.
H1B Visa Eligibility and Document Requirements
Moving on, let us understand the H1B visa eligibility. To be eligible for an H1B visa, applicants must fulfil minimum one of the following conditions:
- Completed a bachelor’s degree
- Hold a foreign degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree
- Hold a licence in any speciality occupation field
- Have work experience equivalent to 3 years as a bachelor’s degree
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The H1B visa process requires a beneficiary (employee) and a petitioner (employer). The H1B visa requirements for Indian citizens pertaining to documents are given below:
- Form G-28
- Copy of Registration Selection Notice (to be submitted by petitioner)
- Form I-129
- Attachments and addendums
- Form I-94 ( if a beneficiary is already in the US)
- SEVIS form (if beneficiary is current or former J-1/F-1 visa holder)
- Employer letter
- Form I-907 (for premium processing applicants)
- Labour condition application certified by Department of Labour (signed by both beneficiary and petitioner)
- Copy of petition (if required)
Application and Registration Process for the H1B Visa
The H1B process commences from March 9th, and runs till March 25th, with lottery winners being notified by March 31st. The registration process pertaining to an H1B visa application is critical in terms of selecting who applies for the H1B visa (petitioner or beneficiary). It is usually the petitioner who applies for H1B and signs the I-129 and G-28 forms.
Creating a wrong type of account often leads to rejection of the H1B visa application.
- For H1B application, petitioners need to submit all the required documents, and pay a registration fee of 10 USD per beneficiary.
- If a petition is approved upon completion of the H1B registration, candidates are issued the visa.
HIB Visa Cost
Talking about the H1B visa cost, it is the petitioner or employer responsible for paying the applicable fee to USCIS or US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The employee, on the other hand is responsible for paying the following H1B cost:
- Registration fee of 10 USD
- I-129 Filing fee of 460 USD
- USCIS Anti Fraud fee of 500 USD
- ACWIA Education and Training fee of 750 USD for companies less than 25 employees, or 1,500 USD for companies more than 25 employees
- Premium processing fee of 2,500 USD (optional)
- Public Law 114-113 fee of 4,000 USD
Summing up, the H1B visa cost in Indian rupees totals up to around 4,85,160 INR-5,43,660 INR (excluding the premium processing fee)
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H1B Visa Dependents and Family Requirements
According to the USCIS, applicants having the H1B visa status are allowed to admit their spouses, and children under the age of 21 under the H-4 non immigartion classification.
To be eligible to enter the US as visa dependents, the family members must apply for an H-4 visa. The documents required for the H-4 visa are given below:
- ID Proof
- Birth certificate
- Last employment authorization document
- Passport copy
- Proof of HIB visa holder’s visa status
- Copy of marriage certificate
Tips for H1B Visa Applicants
With an increased rejection rate pertaining to the H1B visa process, it is really essential for you, as applicants to follow these crucial tips given below:
- Fill the G-28 form very carefully
- Always ensure that the petition is signed by both the petitioner and beneficiary
- The H1B visa should be registered through an appropriate account
- The information on petition should match with that of the online H1B application
- Never forget to include the beneficiary’s address
With the H1B visa qualifications and process being strict, the rejection rate has increased a tad bit. Always ensure that any information on your online H1B visa registration or petition is true to facts, and does not pose any problem for the petitioner or yourself. If you still have doubts about how to apply for H1B visa, you can always connect with our Yocket Counsellors, and take a free session to get help!